THIS week's Community Column is written by Maurice Corry, Scottish Conservative MSP for the West of Scotland region.

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With January almost over, we are back into daily routines, settling back into normality and hoping for improvements on last year.

Many of you will be aware of the numerous and continuous problems with the train service throughout Scotland, which is causing great problems between Dumbarton and Helensburgh and Balloch.

The most recent figures for on time arrivals at Helensburgh is only 47.3 per cent, and for Balloch 48.6 per cent. Considering trains miss stops between Dumbarton and both Helensburgh and Balloch, these figures are appalling.

I have met on several occasions to discuss these issues with the transport minister, yet we continue to see constant disruption to our rail service.

The sole responsibility lies with Transport Scotland. This is causing constant inconvenience, additional time and money to passengers and with Helensburgh and Balloch both being commuter towns and visiting destinations, it is vital that a reliable service is operational.

* On other transport issues, I’m delighted to learn that SPT has appointed a different operator for the Kilcreggan ferry. It is a real pity they didn’t manage to attract new companies to come forward – although there was interest, the process was not advertised adequately, meaning these companies didn’t have sufficient time to pull a tender together.

This was an issue I had been working very closely on as it provides vital commuting links from both sides of the Clyde. The local villagers from the Rosneath peninsula did a fabulous job raising awareness through their very clever song, and hopefully they will now have a reliable boat – for the next year anyway.

I still call for Transport Scotland to assume responsibility for this service looking to the future. There are other local companies keen to tender given the opportunity, if we can achieve this then we can continue to build on the service and improve it for years to come.

* Elsewhere, within the parliament’s justice committee I hold the position covering community safety, which incorporates local policing.

One of the first calls I made was to see more police on the street, available to speak with local residents, and revert to community and preventative policing.

Many people have commented to me recently that they have noticed an increase in police presence, that it makes them feel safer, and that it’s nice to see the police integrating with the community again.

I hope this can continue and increase, keeping our community friendly and safe.